Warrior of the Week: Jordan Zimmerman

Burnout? I don’t think this “Warrior of the Week” has ever heard of burnout.

It’s a pleasure to introduce you to Jordan Zimmerman (also known as JZ).  Since starting his own advertising agency in 1984,  he has been the ultimate 8pm Warrior.  For the past 27 years he never stopped, barely slept, and kept up a work regimen that is truly rare in our 9-5 world.

All that hard work is paying off.

Today he has over 1,100 employees in 10 states, runs the 14th-largest agency in the nation doing close to $3 billion per year in billings, and is a partner in the Florida Panthers.  (if you’re curious about family, he also has a wife and four kids)

What advice did he give me to share with his fellow 8pm Warriors?

“I just don’t think we really need that much sleep. After all, there’s plenty of time to sleep after you’re dead!”

…typical Jordan Zimmerman.

Here’s a quick video with some more quotes from him:

This is what his typical “off time” looks like.

  • Try to get home for dinner
  • After the kids go to bed, he works a few more hours in his home office studying research, reprioritizing accounts, or working on his blog
  • He’ll go to bed around 11 or 12pm
  • He gets up every morning at 3:30am and is at the gym to lift weights by 4 am
  • By 5:30, he’s back home and then out on his bike.  (He rides 25 miles before breakfast)
  • He eats breakfast with the three youngest kids and takes them to school if he’s not traveling that day
  • Then off to the office

If he’s not an 8pm Warrior, then I don’t know who is.  I used to be proud of myself for keeping sleep down to only 5 or 6 hours…but he’s running on 3.5 to 4.5!

Does he sleep on weekends?

“Why would you sleep when that’s your time to live?” he says. “Sleeping isn’t living. You sleep when you die.”

Not surprisingly, “You Sleep When you Die” is also the name of his blog.

He’s got so many great thoughts on business and life so we’ll be featuring his material all week on the 8pm Warrior twitter feed and facebook forum.  In the meantime, here are some other ways to connect with him:

If you have a favorite 8pm Warrior you think should be featured, please let us know by sharing a link to their blog/website in the comment section, tweeting @8pmWarrior, or posting info on the 8pm Warrior facebook forum.

Have a great night!


Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

13 comments on “Warrior of the Week: Jordan Zimmerman”

  1. Karyn, it looks like he spends lots of time with family. He takes vacation and it sounds like he spends breakfast and dinner with family when he can…more than most executives I would imagine.

  2. Karyn:

    That’s a good question. I’m lucky that my wife Denise supports and encourages all of my goals and dreams – that’s an essential part of my success. That being said, she does like to get a bit more sleep than I do!

  3. What a great story. I really admire that Jordan is never content. I could see when your billing 3 billion a year to sleep in a little bit more and get 5 hours of sleep. Not Jordan! One question I have is what motivates you? You have built a huge advertising agency and have become very successful, what makes you get up at 3:30am?

  4. Dear Jordan,

    I’ve been reading your blog from the very beginning from Russia, Moscow. Want to thank you for a vision of life that you share. I guess ultimately USA is the most competitve country in the world today because of the work ethics its people have. Unfortunately we lack that here in Russia. I think the best message you had so far was about New Year resolution. Will try to stay with my resolution longer than 2 weeks after January 1st )) Will tell you the result in a year )) My very best, Artem

  5. Artem, how are your New Year’s Resolutions going so far? I’d love to hear an update from Russia. :-)

  6. Just wondering if you went to BCC in 75 because I found an old magazine that has Jordan Zimmerman as the Weight Lifting Champ for the bench press.


    Thank you,


    P.S. You can sleep when you die has been my motto since I was first told that in 1970 and I almost never sleep more than 4-5 hours a night.
    3 times a year I get 6+ and I think Napolean said Men need 5, women 6 and all the followers more.

    Also, I love your clip.
    take care.

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